“My Ten” is a New York Times column where creative types are asked to share “their top 10 cultural must-haves.” The Learning Network turned it into a lesson of the day, and Ms. Chen turned it into a Slice. Thanks, Ms. Chen, for the inspiration!
- Caternet. Ok, I made that word up, and I don’t think it’s going to catch on. But I’m sure it surprises approximately no one that I consume a lot of cat Internet content. I need a daily dose of cat photos, cat videos, cat memes, and cat stories to be able to function, and thankfully, the Internet always provides.
2. What Should I Read Next? podcast: Other podcasts come and go in my Podcast app, but Anne’s soothing voice interviewing guests about their reading lives and recommending three books they should read next continues to be my one weekly must-listen.
3. Joy the Baker: How we love Joy the Baker in our house! I have made dozens of her recipes over the years, and nothing has ever flopped. Even better, most everything I’ve made becomes a repeat favorite. Plus she has a lovely blog and a handsome cat, and she created another Internet delight, Drake on Cake.
4. Psych: Shawn and Gus have to be the most quoted characters in our house. You know that’s right. We’ve watched the show from beginning to end numerous times (I’m ready for a rewatch right now, in fact–never mind that we just finished a rewatch last month). Skip the second movie though.
5. Jason Reynolds: This list could easily have become a list of ten must-have authors but I decided to limit myself to just two. And I knew immediately who my number one author would be. I love all of his books, including the poetry-art collaboration he did with his friend Jason Griffin (My name is Jason. Mine too.). I love the work he’s done as National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. I love his generosity in talking to teachers and sharing truths and asking questions we need to hear to be able to grow, learn, and do better for kids. I love how he’s always got a new book to recommend. And I love how he’s always talking about how much he loves his mom.
6. #Penpalooza: Penpalooza is the pandemic pen pal project started by writer Rachel Syme, and the Twitter hashtag is one of the loveliest spots on the Internet for shared joy over the simple pleasures of letters and stamps and pens and pretty envelopes.
7. Vionic shoes: I discovered Vionics when I was suffering from plantar fasciitis, and I will never buy any other brand of sandal. I can stand for hours and walk for miles in these shoes with no aches or pains.
8. Starbucks vanilla bean scones: They’re dry and kind of flavorless, and I have no idea why they’re my favorite–my only–fast food treat, but they are.
9. Zadie Smith’s essays: The essay is my favorite form, and Zadie Smith is my favorite contemporary essayist. I think most readers know her as a novelist, but her essays have so much to offer. There are two fat collections and one very slim one, and they range so widely and thoughtfully over books, writing, family, place, politics, pop culture.
10. Yoga with Adriene: I’ve spent so many calming hours practicing yoga in Adriene’s company. She’s endlessly relatable and also endlessly inspirational, and Benji sightings are the best.
What are you some of your cultural must-haves?